Ocula Member Galleries are selected by a committee of respected gallerists with the purpose of presenting only the best of contemporary art on Ocula.Read More
A number of Seoul's best art galleries can be found in Samcheong-dong in Jongno-Gu, including Kukje Gallery. The gallery is known for its roster of Korean and international artists such as Anish Kapoor, Bill Viola, Chung Chang-Sup, Candida Höfer, Gimhongsok, and Haegue Yang.
Also based in Samcheong-dong is PKM Gallery, established in 2001 by Park Kyung-mee—an art historian and the commissioner of the Korean Pavilion at the 49th Venice Biennale. PKM Gallery represents many important established and mid-career Korean artists, many of whom have an international reputation. Among these is the estate of Yun Hyong-keun, a key figure in the history of abstraction and Minimalist art in Korea often referred to within the context of Dansaekwha.
Major art galleries can be found elsewhere in Jongno-Gu, including Arario Gallery, innovative in introducing Indian and Southeast Asian artists to Korea; ONE AND J. Gallery, dedicated to contemporary artists; and JARILAGER Gallery, founded by Sunhee Choi and Jari Lager. Jongno-Gu is also home to Gana Art, one of the first major art galleries to be established in Korea, noted for its focus on Korean and Asian contemporary art and for its public art projects presented in three art spaces across the city.
In more recent years, buoyed by the rise of a new generation of collectors in South Korea, accessibility to the broader Asia region, and the commitment by Frieze to host a Seoul art fair each year, international galleries have sought a presence in the city too. Lehmann Maupin, Perrotin, and Pace Gallery all have spaces in Seoul, as do KÖNIG GALERIE, Thaddaeus Ropac and Gladstone Gallery.
Explore the current and upcoming exhibitions showing at Ocula Member Galleries, Institutions and non-profit art spaces.Read More
Our exhibition profiles include press releases, installation images, and for gallery spaces, a selection of artworks being shown in Seoul. They also include access to profiles on exhibiting artists. With the aim to present only the best of contemporary art on Ocula, our Members are determined by a selection committee of respected and influential international gallerists.
Seoul has one of the world's most dynamic contemporary art scenes. Here is a further selection of Seoul galleries our team recommend you visit, each showcasing the vibrant spirit of the Korean art scene.
Seoul's museums, and non-profit art spaces offer must-see viewing. Here is our selection of the best art museums and other non-profit art spaces to visit while in Seoul.
Ocula Magazine has developed a reputation for thoughtful and in-depth editorial dedicated to exploring the best in contemporary art.Read More
Our team regularly covers shows and art news relevant to Seoul. Ocula has interviewed many of Korean leading artists, including Haegue Yang and other artists who regularly show in Seoul, like Do Ho Suh, Daniel Boyd, Ugo Rondinone, and Anish Kapoor. Our editorial team also covers exhibitions via insights and features.
In Seoul you can view work by some of the world's most exciting artists. Below is a selection of artists with works currently on view in exhibitions showing with Ocula Member Galleries.
Representing leading galleries in Seoul, on Ocula you can view a selection of artworks by important established artists, and emerging new talents currently being shown in the city.
Korea's capital city for more than 600 years, Seoul is today the nation's cultural centre, housing many museums, galleries, and exhibition venues. The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA Seoul) lies at its heart in Jongno-Gu, located next to the historical site of Gyeongbokgung Palace, which served as the main royal palace in the Joseon period (1392–1910).Read More
With its main branch based in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi-do, the MMCA Seoul branch opened in 2013 with the mission to deliver modern and contemporary art to the public. While its core exhibitions are permanent collections, the museum has also featured special exhibitions from iconic artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Yun Hyong-keun, Park Seo Bo, Choi Jeong Hwa, Shirin Neshat, Ai Weiwei, Hito Steyerl, and William Kentridge. The MMCA is also the site of prestigious awards such as the MMCA Hyundai Motor Series, dedicated to pioneering Korean artists, and the Korea Artist Prize.
From Gyeongbokgung, take Seoul's Metro or—on a nice day—a ten- to twenty-minute walk to galleries in the nearby Samcheong-dong, also known as 'gallery street.' Kumho Museum of Art, founded in 1989 to promote Korean art, houses the works of artists who have shaped modern art—including Nam June Paik, Lee Ufan, and Kim Whanki—and emerging Korean artists. Since the mid-2000s, Kumho has also focused its program on design and architecture.
Gallery Hyundai, standing next to Kumho, was founded in 1970 by the pioneering gallerist Park Myung-ja. One of the first galleries to introduce abstract art to Korea, Gallery Hyundai represents leading Korean artists Kang Ik-Joong, Kwon Young-Woo, and Moon Kyungwon, among others, as well as international artists such as Iván Navarro and Robert Indiana.
Some of the leading contemporary galleries in the world can also be found in Samcheong-dong. Kukje Gallery, , founded in 1982, is known for its roster of Korean and international artists, including Anish Kapoor, Bill Viola, Candida Höfer, Gimhongsok, Haegue Yang, and Kimsooja. Arario Gallery, which opened in 1989, has been innovative in introducing Indian and Southeast Asian artists to Korea. A regular presence in Frieze New York and Art Basel in Hong Kong since the early 2000s, PKM Gallery has exhibited Lee Bul, Olafur Eliasson, Bruce Nauman, and Katie Paterson, among others.
Jongno-gu is also home to numerous Korean galleries dedicated to contemporary art, among them Gana Art, which was one of the first major art galleries to open in Korea; Barakat Contemporary; Gallery Chosun; Gallery KICHE; ONE AND J. Gallery; and Space Willing N Dealing.
Elsewhere in Seoul, contemporary art galleries Whistle, P21, and Mo J Gallery can be found in Yongsan-gu, a district famous for its vibrant nightlife in Itaewon; SPACE SO near Hongdae, an arts hub in Mapo-gu; and SEOJUNG ART in the famous Gangnam.
In the past decade, Seoul has emerged as an international art capital. Perrotin was among the first international galleries to open a branch in Jongno-gu in 2006, and JARILAGER Gallery followed in the same district in 2016. The year 2021 saw three major galleries, Pace Gallery, Gladstone Gallery, and König Galerie, establish locations in Seoul.
Those wanting to experience contemporary Korean culture alongside art may venture to the Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA), located in the former building of the Supreme Court of Korea and offers public exhibitions that address social issues. Designed by the acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid, Dongdaemun Design Plaza's diverse exhibition program encompasses Korean and international design, fashion, and art.
Some of the privately-run art museums in Seoul are also worthwhile for their vast collections. Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, which opened in 2004, houses 36 pieces recognised as national treasures. Architects Jean Nouvel, Rem Koolhaas, and Mario Botta designed its buildings.
Image: Illustration of South Korean landmarks by rawpixel.com.